Going to the Chapel
Some people aren't meant to be married. Jack and Angela are.
He didn't know how he was supposed to feel. He'd never been good with that sort of thing. After all, he'd been born a multi-millionaire, had everything handed to him on a silver platter, never found anything he couldn't buy- including love, friendship, and whatever other insipid emotions that dreamy-eyed hippies insisted weren't for sale. And yet, all he'd ever wanted to be was an invisible cog in the machinations of something larger than himself. He wanted to know how it felt to be at the mercy of fate, to understand the little things in life. He wanted to be normal. His enormous wealth, the source of complete freedom, made him feel trapped. His disgusting job, which usually involved him wading hip-deep in mud, feces, and larvae, made him excited and happy. Gorgeous women, lightly scented with exotic perfume, dripping diamonds down warm, pale skin, left him cold. Angela left him burning like a welding torch in a propane factory.
She was married. It was so surprising that he wasn't surprised at all. Even though it was empirically impossible to expect the unexpected, he was getting pretty good at it with her. In fact, the more he thought about it, the more it sounded like something Angela would do. It was the kind of spontaneous action she was prone to, one of the many things he loved about her. The truth was though, that this wedding had been a gift to him. He hadn't expected it, had accepted that they didn't need to be married to be together forever. She had given this to him because she loved him and she knew what it meant to him to be able to say that she was his wife. How could he feel anything but love for her?
He knew that most people would be angry, perhaps disappointed, even resentful. He thought it would be extremely difficult to resent Angela and if he was disappointed, it wasn't because he couldn't say she was his. She became his a long time ago. He smiled up at her and saw the worried frown slowly melt off her face. She smiled back, leaning against him and linking their hands together. He was happy. Who the hell cared what he was supposed to feel?
"I love you," he said, pressing a chaste kiss to her lips.
"I love you too," she replied, looking deeply into his eyes, as though she wanted to will him to understand her. He hated to see her feeling so guilty.
"Have I told you yet how incredibly hot you look in that dress?" he whispered into her ear, watching the side of her mouth tilt up into a smirk. "I can't wait to peel it off you."
Angela laughed, dispelling the last of the gloom. "I'm going to find that guy," she laughed ruefully, "whatever his name is, and make him sign the divorce papers. We are going to get married."
"I know," he said, pulling her against him. "But there's no rush. Married or not, we're together. I don't need anything more than you."
"You're such a corndog," she said, smiling around the tears slipping down her cheeks.
"Those better be tears of happiness," he said mock-sternly. Another tear slipped out. "Come on, it wasn't that corny!" Now she was laughing—that was how it should be.
"You wanna get out of here?" she asked suddenly, standing up from the steps.
He levered himself up and took her hand again. "And miss the party? I ordered your favorite stuffed oysters and there's an open bar…"
"You want to party at our reception?" she asked, sounding incredulous, but the mischievous sparkle in her belied it.
"Come on, Babe. I'll show you a good time. Then I'll take you home and show you a better time," he invited her, leering pointedly. They walked back into the chapel laughing.